From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says there is no going back on the January 31 deadline for acceptance of the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes by banks across the country.
The Voice reports that the two chambers of the National Assembly had earlier moved a motion asking the apex bank to extend the deadline for acceptance of the old naira notes.
The Director, Security Services of CBN, Mr Atiku Mohammed-Nasir, stated this during a sensitisation programme on the new Naira notes held in Doma Market, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on Wednesday.
According to him, the January 31 deadline was sacrosanct, hence the need to carry sensitisation on the new Naira notes in rural communities to enlighten the people on the policy of the apex bank.
He, therefore encouraged the people of the area to deposit their old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in the banks before the deadline to avoid losing their money.
Mohammed-Nasir said that as part of efforts to ease the stress of changing cash for those without bank accounts, CBN engaged the services of super agents.
According to him, the super agents were in most rural communities to change a maximum of N10,000 per individual.
The director said that the e-banking team were also on hand to open bank accounts and e-Naira wallets for the people.
He said that the sensitisation exercise would be sustained till Jan. 31.
“The CBN is making all efforts to make sure that the people are comfortable and no one loses money on the account of the new policy.
“The essence of the policy is to ensure that the unbanked population are brought into the banking system in line with global economic order.
“The currency exchange is just a temporary measure but the permanent solution is to get the populace to embrace e-banking,” he said.
He therefore, called on the people, especially traders and farmers to open accounts as commercial banks have simplified the process in order to accommodate more customers.
Some of the traders and rural dwellers who spoke with The Voice expressed delight with the new Naira policy and promised to embrace it.
They, however, said that the timing was to short for the currency exchange and appealed for its extension.
Speaking in an interview, a trader in Doma, Rabiu Abogye, said the policy had encouraged him to open a bank account and that he was already enjoying the ease of transaction.
On their parts, Fatima Sule, a farmer in Obi, and Esther Kyuni, a trader in Akwanga both lauded CBN for the policy, but called for more time for adequate enlightenment in the rural communities.
The Voice reports that the CBN team have so far visited communities in Doma, Obi, Akwanga and Wamba Local Government Areas of the state.